Personalities

Find out what Asia’s movers and shakers are up to ­– and how they spend their private time 
South China Morning Post
  1. As Indonesian authorities turn back thousands of people trying to return to their hometowns for the Eid ul-Fitr festival despite a nationwide interstate travel ban, some have questioned the inflow of foreign workers into the country. Earlier this month, charter flights from China brought in more than 400 workers to work on infrastructure projects ranging from toll roads to airports and ports in different parts of Indonesia. Two of them later tested positive for Covid-19 – leading to…
  2. A multilingual Malaysian Chinese politician with a love of Hong Kong movies is being touted as a top candidate to lead Malaysia’s largest opposition party into the next general election.If he is elected as secretary general of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) at its Central Executive Committee election on June 20, Anthony Loke Siew Fook, 44, will take over at a watershed moment for both the party and the country, amid political uncertainties and a pandemic that has crippled the economy…
  3. An 80-year-old woman in Shanghai is the latest casualty of the internet fad of visiting viral destinations to take photos and post them on social media, known as daka in Chinese.The woman’s home went viral last week after a huge pink fabric bow was put up on one of the apartment building’s balconies, making it look like a small Disney castle. After the building became popular on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, fans flooded in to take photos of the elderly woman’s home and catch a glimpse…
  4. Nearly one-quarter of the foreign nationals granted refugee status by Japan in 2020 were Chinese, a record high despite the dramatic decline in people arriving from China on tourist visas last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.Support groups for refugees in Japan said some of those fleeing China cited alleged intolerance of religious and political beliefs, while some were from Xinjiang, the far-western region of the country where Beijing has been accused of detaining up to 1 million…
  5. Rikako Ikee became a national hero in Japan when she earned a place on the country’s Olympic swimming team two years after being diagnosed with leukaemia but the 20-year-old has come under mounting pressure to quit over coronavirus concerns.The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23 but the host city’s ongoing struggle to contain the pandemic and the country’s slow vaccine roll-out have ensured the event remains hotly debated.In a Twitter post on the weekend, Ikee addressed calls for…
  6. When Neelam Mehta took her 82-year-old mother to the doctor in New Delhi last week, her coronavirus symptoms were mild but her oxygen saturation had dropped below healthy levels.The doctor advised Neelam, 52, to find an oxygen cylinder and admit her mother to hospital immediately. That would mean travelling, though, as there were no available beds in the Indian capital.“You will waste valuable time trying to find a bed here,” the doctor said. “A better option is to put her in the car and try…
  7. As Ramadan enters its final days, a spate of incidents has led to renewed debate online about religious piety and whether behaviour during the Muslim fasting month should be policed.In Singapore, where about 15 per cent of the population are Muslim, a viral video has emerged showing a woman scolding an Indonesian worker for eating during daylight hours, threatening to report the worker to MUIS, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore. Internet users rushed to the worker’s defence, insisting…
  8. Outside a remand prison in a run-down Bangkok suburb, five women stand by cardboard cut-outs of their incarcerated children. A bedsheet tied to the gates bears the message: “Give us our children back.”This is the closest they can get to the young pro-democracy activists, who have been held for months without bail on allegations of insulting Thailand’s monarchy.The “Ratsamoms” – a derivative of the “Ratsadon” people’s movement – have for weeks gathered outside courts and jails, standing in…
  9. Singapore’s former prime minister Goh Chok Tong has urged citizens to give space to the younger ministers of the ruling People’s Action Party as they pick a new leader among themselves following the “hiccup” of the country’s prime-minister-in-waiting stepping aside.Goh said the process, which will in effect determine who will succeed Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, was not just an “internal PAP problem” but a national issue. “This is an important decision for Singapore,” said Goh, who led the…
  10. A young Japanese woman being questioned on suspicion of killing her wealthy and elderly husband three years ago is declining to cooperate with investigators, although the evidence against her appears to be mounting.The entire case surrounding Saki Sudo and her late husband, who described himself as the “Don Juan” of the small town of Kishu, has caught the rapt attention of Japan’s tabloids and a gossip-hungry public.Kosuke Nozaki, 77, was found dead on a sofa in his home in the Wakayama…